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Joseph's Story

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Norman native Joe Coker was born October 6, 1927 in Norman Oklahoma to Charles B. and Judith V. Coker. Joe departed this life peacefully on July 6, 2017.

After high school, Joe joined the Coast Guard where he served two years. Upon completion of military service, he attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a B.S. Degree.

After graduating from O.U., he married Marion McCaskill in Plainview, Texas on August 27, 1949. Marion and Joe moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he attended the Harvard Business School and obtained an M.B.A. degree with High Distinction. Upon graduation, they moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he was employed by Phillips Petroleum Company.

In 1954 they moved to Oklahoma City where he joined his father in the automotive business, Joe Coker Pontiac, until his retirement. He served as President of the Oklahoma City Dealers Association, Chairman of the Pontiac Texas-Oklahoma Dealer Council, the Pontiac National Dealer Council and the General Motors Presidents Advisory Council. He received the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award.

Joe and Marion had four children, Ken, Susan, Gregg and Brett. They moved their family to Norman in 1957. Joe was active in several youth programs. He was a Boy Scoutmaster for 24 years. He was a Scoutmaster at three national Jamborees and at the Canadian and New Zealand Jamborees and at the World Jamboree in Japan.

He served on the Last Frontier Council Executive Committee, the Regional Executive Committee and the National Committee for International Relations He received the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, Eagle Scout Association National Outstanding Scoutmaster award, Extra Miler award, and the Good Shepherd award.

Under his leadership, 126 young men earned the rank of Eagle Scout (including his three sons). He was President of the Norman Band Parents for 7 years. He was one of the founders of Sooner Swim Club.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church and Bethel Baptist Church. He taught a Sunday school class for many years, was a Deacon and was active on several church committees. He was a member of the Northwest Oklahoma City Kiwanis Club where he was President and then Lt. Governor of Division 19.

Mr. Coker was preceded in death by his parents, by his brother, Bob Coker and sister, Jane Arrington. He is survived by his wife, Marion, sons Ken and wife Ellen of Norman, Gregg and wife Terri of Hoover, Alabama, Brett of Pensacola, Florida and daughter Susan Hilgenfeld and husband Mike of Norman, 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Marjorie Ryan, Plainview, Texas and brother-in-law, George Arrington, Canadian Texas.

At his request, the family will hold a private graveside service.

The family thanks Dr. Merrill and the generous, gracious staff at Grace Living Center for the excellent care given Joe during his stay there.
Published on  July 6, 2017
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